digital citizenship – where to begin?

I’m feeling somewhat energised and inspired, having spent the day at a cybersafety PD run by ACMA. I walked into it thinking that I might pick up one or two new ideas but feeling like I already knew a lot about cybersafety and how to implement strategies.  While it certainly reinforced things I knew, it also opened my eyes to new resources and concepts, both to work on with students and with the school community as a whole.

In particular, I was impressed by the practical and not negative focus by the presenter.  Too many times we hear about the cybersafety message with the words ‘ban’, ‘block’ and ‘limit’ being frequently interspersed.  However that couldn’t have been further from today’s presentation.  The message was to be informed but also realistic.  Students are accessing this technology, whether we like (or approve of) it or not.  If we block it or choose not to discuss it at school, it doesn’t help or prepare them for use at home.  It’s very hard to show students how to get help if they receive unwanted attention on facebook when even teachers can’t access it at school.

There were numerous resources presented for all levels including a video – ‘Let’s fight it together‘ – aimed at Secondary students.  This is an intense and moving resource which left the room in silence at its conclusion.  It tells the poignant tale of a young boy who experiences bullying in all its forms, seeping into every corner of his life and leaving him feeling as if he has nowhere left to turn.  Equally impressive were some of the cybersafety resources created by students which can be found on YouTube – talking to our students in ‘kidspeak’ could be the most effective way to get through on such an important topic.

There was also a very valuable discussion on who should deliver cybersafety education – classroom teachers?  ICT specialists?  Young teachers who were born into a degree of the technology?  Or those who have begrudgingly adopted new technology but whose actions make it clear that they would rather live without it?  Perhaps the students themselves should be trained up to deliver it?

Lots of ideas. . . .but where to start?!

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